Tens of thousands of people have gathered in the southern Indian town of Rameswaram for the burial of former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, known as the father of the country's military missile program.

On Thursday his body, carried in a glass topped hearse, was driven from his home in the tiny fishing town to the cemetery where he had wanted to be buried. The 83-year-old Kalam died on Monday.

People, some carrying flowers, have lined the streets as the hearse is driving through the town. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and scores of other senior government officials are present at the funeral.

Kalam, who died while delivering a lecture to a group of students, was president from 2002 until 2007.